interview interview advent

Interview Advent Day 11 : Monica Beatrice

12/11/2017Jake Ryan

Monica is a 20 something blogger who founded The Elgin Avenue. More recently she has expanded into podcasts and selling inspirational posters through her new site MonicaBeatriceShop

We recently asked Monica a few questions about her businesses and her plans for the future, see what Monica had to say below. 

Hey Monica, Tell us a little about yourself. 
My name's Monica, and I'm a 20-something living in a nook of the English countryside. I'm primarily a blogger (7 years and counting at The Elgin Avenue!), and I also have a podcast called Let's Discuss with a great friend of mine Ella. I recently launched my first physical product - a series of motivational quote posters. And (last one I promise!) I co-founded a creative conference for entrepreneurs and small business owners called Big Small Business with another friend, Laura Turner, in April. 

When did you start blogging and what was the reason you started?
I started blogging as a first year student at The London College of Fashion. I was looking for a creative outlet outside of my University work and at the time street style was a really big movement. I've always adored people watching and blogging felt like the digital incarnation of it! I googled 'how to start a blog' and secured my .blogspot URL pretty swiftly. It all came together when the name 'clicked' - The Elgin Avenue is named after the road I used to live off of in London. 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a blog?
My advice is to take a branding questionnaire. In order to decide what you want to share on your blog and across your social channels, it is so helpful to first understand your core values and the message you want to share. When you are confident in your own point of view, it makes communicating a lot easier. If you have a sound brand, everything from your tone of voice, to your visuals and even your interactions with partners feels more effortless and focused. 

What makes you happy?
Being with the people I love. Sundays. Long walks in the countryside or along the beach. Menorca. A bottle of wine shared with friends. The list goes on and on! 

Can you tell us a little about MonicaBeatriceShop?
Monica Beatrice Shop is my online store. It plays host to my newly-launched poster collection! The poster collection is made up of three designs, each of which displays a motivational quote. The posters are printed using the finest letterpress technique, and the words are designed to mimic their sentiments. They're all beautifully fluid, and I am head over heels for them. 

I have each of the designs lined up in my office so I can see them when I'm working. They work beautifully alone, or alongside one another. It's been so incredibly exciting to think that the posters are now living in my customers' homes too! I hope that they 'inspire & delight'.

You sell motivational and inspirational posters online, but where do you find your inspiration?
I feel most inspired when I feel well in myself. Sleep, a good diet, lots of time with my friends and loved ones, and moving my body help to put me in a really good frame of mind. When I'm relaxed ideas tend to come quite easily. I keep an ongoing note on my phone, and I try to never forget to write something down otherwise it'll likely be gone forever!

Do you read any other blogs?
I LOVE blogs! I read so many! Gal Meets Glam, Advice From A Twenty Something, Danielle Moss, The Online Stylist, The Anna Edit, Cupcakes & Cashmere, Coco's Tea Party, Anneli Bush, A House In The Hills (although it's paused right now), and many many others. I love spending time reading blogs, and it's in fact this very pastime which inspired my Croissant Reading newsletter and the corresponding poster. 

You take beautiful photos, how much effort goes into styling the shots for your blog/instagram?
Aw thank you so much! I put a lot of thought, care and time into 90% of my photos, and the other ones are captured on a whim when I see something beautiful!

Do you have any photography tips for budding photographers?
Absolutely! Firstly if you're brand new I'd start a secret Pinterest board with all of the images which most resonate with you. Just go with your instincts, Pin everything you like in the first instance, and you can edit down later. You'll quickly see that common themes run throughout the images you curate, and you can use this research to inform your creative style. For instance you may discover that a lot of your inspirational images have a soft warm light to them, which will them inform what you shoot and how you edit.

I don't think you need to splurge on an expensive camera. There are lots of great compact options out there now, from Canon or Olympus, and iPhones are also amazing! Good photos can be made into STUNNING photos if you edit them well too, so I suggest looking up tips on using Lightroom and editing apps on your phone. 

Again, I'd suggest taking a branding questionnaire so that you can hone in on your style, and get really geeky about researching photography tips. I'm forever googling effects, and reading articles by other bloggers and photographers. We're all forever evolving so it's important to keep learning. 

What’s your proudest moment so far in life?
Milestones happen constantly, and I believe in celebrating them all! From big campaigns, all the way through to tidying your office! If you don't celebrate they pass all too quickly, and you totally deserve your champagne moments. 

And finally, what are your plans for the future? 

I launched three new businesses this year so I think I'm done with launches right now haha, but I couldn't say for sure! I try my best to follow my instincts and 'Go With The Flow' (another favourite mantra which inspired a poster), so I'll continue to lean into what feels right at the time. I'm very happy with my trio of blogging, podcasting and the posters, (not to mention where Big Small Business may go . . . !) and I'm excited to see how each of those will grow in 2018. 

Thanks Monica for taking the time 
to speak to TravelFoodFilm

Follow Monica's blog HERE
Shop Monica Beatrice HERE
Follow Monica On Instagram HERE 

All photos in this post belong to Monica. 

Did you miss day 10? Catch up here - Hayley Anderson

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